Couchsurfing, Japanese Buddhism, and Fondue.

What can I possibly say about my full week stay in Amsterdam? The funny thing is, I didn't even plan on visiting the Netherlands in the first place! An itinerary? What's that? Where will I be next week? Depends on the different kinds of suggestions or recommendations I receive from meeting random people - yeah, that's my plan. Hah!


As of last Friday, I stayed with my couchsurfing host, J, until Monday afternoon. I learned a great deal about Japanese Buddhism and even participated in a 10-minute morning chant, "Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo" which translates to:

Nam = "to devote oneself"
M-yoho = "the Mystic Law"
Renge = "Lotus Flower"
Kyo = "Sutra" aka the voice or teaching of Buddha

Although I have always been surrounded by Buddhism - - I never took the time to look into the main principles and teaching. J was kind enough to lend me some great books and to my surprise, many of the main principles of Buddhism are aligned with what I believe in. I think it's great when one can find something they can relate to through old texts and books. The most interesting principle that I took away from this experience was re-learning the concept of Karma. It is a term that has been used quite often in various cultures yet I honestly have lost the true meaning of it. Karma is the action that you put and the results you get from it. It really has nothing to do with good or bad luck. What you put out there whether it be good intentions or bad - - are the cause and effect outcomes you will see. 
Needless to say, my couch-surfing experience (as always) turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

In addition, I was invited to a traditional Swiss dinner by a woman I met on the bus ride from Antwerp, Belgium to Amsterdam. Apparently, when I stepped off the bus for the first time in Amsterdam - I had a look of extreme confusion...She, V, was so sweet to invite me to dinner as well as a free all day classical music and jazz concerts at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. 


Free classical music - my favorite; violin and piano! 

A happy woman feeding the birdies by the Conservatory of Amsterdam. 

My oodles of noodles I made at my couch-hosts' place - Gotta love pesto. 
Tomato face time! 
 Cute little bakery - my tummy really appreciated it.

 The most amazing caramel and walnut dessert ever...
See the turtle in the middle? Lots of Marzipan animals!
Trying to understand what they were talking about. :)
 Fondue!
 Something was very very funny!
Spiced Pear in red wine and chocolate..Wow. 

Another successful trip to somewhere I have not been. This 'one day at a time' has been working out quite nicely. Right now I am in Prague and will write more when I have a chance! Have a fantastic Monday everyone!

xoxo,

C




A poem about Blue.



Blue.

The color of the sky; the color that

may represent a sad you,

the oceans,

too, are blue like

maybe some who have not 
a clue, 

where the heck,

the man from blue's clues

moved onto,

and hope he is not,

blue and has more than just one,

clue.












Whenever I feel blue, I like to make a big cup of tea - put on some really comfortable house/apartment/condo/farmhouse/trailer pajamas and remind myself; feeling blue is only temporary. Go with it, feel it, then move on and don't look back. It will always work out ~ even for the Blue's Clues dude.


Good night,

C


A little sun makes for a great boost of Vitamin D.

A beautiful Friday in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Yesterday was pretty cold, rainy, and cloudy. But hey, without the cold we wouldn't appreciate the sun as much, right? I remember how much sun Phoenix, Arizona would receive - and sometimes, I felt it was just too much! But being here with the average temperatures ranging from 35-43 Farenheit high - I am grateful for however much sun peeks through those thick clouds over here in Europe!

Today was my last day at Cocomama's hostel (the current residence of the ladybug picture below) and I was a little sad. Strange how a hostel can transform into a traveler's community so fast, and so easily. With each new ending, comes a new beginning.

With a little Passion Pit and Stars playing on my couch-hosts' Ipad...I sit back, continue slowly sipping a traditional English Breakfast tea, and cannot believe I am here. I met my couch-host, J, for the first time earlier this afternoon. He has agreed to host me until Sunday. I am looking forward to hearing more about Japanese Buddhism, helping him with his garden, and still absorbing everything like a little sponge made for hand-washing dishes.

Before arriving to J's place, I basked in the sun and ate my lunch - wondering what to do with my day before couchsurfing. I wandered around looking for a place to make international calls to a special friend - and running into an open-air market with fresh flowers, delicious assortment of cheeses, waffles, and overall  - a Delightful Surprise.















Each day is full of surprises. It seems like when we lose ourselves in the moment of now, there are many surprises to discover. 

Why not do something different today or tonight? Never tried salsa dancing - let's go! Ever gave Judo lessons a shot - why not now? 

Happy Friday, everyone!

C


Cold and Rainy on another Hostel-Amsterdam kind of way..

I am sitting in the Cocomama hostel; and cannot seem to bring pry myself out of this comfortable couch, with an Ipod set on The Kooks,
with a book of 'Europe: for Independent Travellers' sitting in front of me. 

Behind me, sits a lukewarm Roobois tea with a spoon it, and within my thoughts - lie my memories of getting lost and finding myself  in Amsterdam today.

Here's to a 'yellow' rendition of Amsterdam because, well, this blog is titled 'Single Yellow Female':









The color yellow reminds me of the sun; oh how I have missed you!!






xoxo,

C


A Lasting Impact - - Inspiration Stays...

On a cold, brisk, with a high of 45 degrees F - I thought it would be a great idea to tour this quaint area called Amsterdam.


This has only been my second night in Amsterdam and it has already been such an inspiration. Although I was not prepared for the cold and walking at least a total of 5 + miles, the things I saw and thoughts that occurred is ever long.


It's phenomenal to think how much this young girl by the name of Anne Frank, continues to inspire and make a real impact on people today - the year 2012. She died in 1945. So 67 years go by, and Anne Franks' writings change the world for the better - when another person hears her story. Some thoughts that were running through my head while quietly walking up the stairs of her house:

'When was the last time I had to worry about sneaking around in my home - - opening up the curtains was forbidden at any moment, tip-toeing around to avoid being caught and imprisoned..?'

'Imagine being looked at a certain way and seeing people feeling bad for not being able to let you ride the bus with them...just because the consequences were too dire to risk...How would that feel like?'

This young girl - went on to following her heart, becoming a writer. She asked her father to publish her diary and he kept his promise. Despite the circumstances she experienced - however dire, she continued to live each moment with 100% passion and focus on the current moment. Having the opportunity to see this kind of inspiration was so moving and made me realize how important it is to live life with 100% authenticity - follow your heart. No wrong can ever occur from following the most innate feeling - doing what makes you happy.






Here's to Anne Frank and thank you,

Cathy


Street Art in Paris.

Street art. Is it good or bad? Is it right or wrong? 

Personally, I think it's pretty cool and worth pausing your tracks - - you never know where inspiration might come from. And when it will hit you in the face.












Swag. 

<3,

C


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